Monday, February 15, 2010

MEDUSA'S STORY: IT'S TIME FOR ME TO SAY GOODBYE ... [UPDATED FEBRUARY 15, 2010]



I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I'm completely overwhelmed by the comments and e-mails I've received since the posting of my farewell below. I am truly humbled and honoured.

After mulling over my decision to close my blog, I've decided to carry on. How could I not with such wonderful people supporting me?

So to you all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Posting will resume tonight :^)

~ Medusa
xoxoxo



My original post:

While at work yesterday morning, I decided to check my home e-mail. This is what I found as a comment awaiting for approval:

Dear Medusa,

I follow your blog on a daily basis. I have already emailed you privately once or twice.

Well any way I'm not writing because I want to help myself (I have already done all that I can do for myself and I'm 44 years old and I'm still messed up with eating disorders). But I do want to let some of the girls who are starting to try to get help that in order for help to work you have to have a good support system. I never had that and I don't think I will live through the day so I hope this gets posted and someone listens. Don't think every therepist or shink gives a shit about you. They are in business to make money and you are a money sign to them. HELP YOURSELF as much as you can before you end up 44 like me and still have to many eating disorders to deal with.

NEVER START THAT FIRST DIET. My mother put me on a diet at 6 years of age and it has been a slow ride to destruction for me. Right now I am beyond help and it is too late for me but it won't be for you if you never start that first diet.

I have gotten help and I had been going to therapy for this illness but I do not have the strength to make any efforts any more. The last straw was yesterday when I had an appointment with my therapist and she never showed up for the third time this month. It is no longer that easy for me to make arrangements for someone to watch my kids while I go to a non exhistant appointment (I had three appointments that were all cancelled at the last minute. No one called to let me know and I ended getting there and then finding out). When you are 44 with kids this bullsh** can get expensive and there are no other therapists in my area so I guess I'm SOL. In fact when I got to the office I was laughed at and made to fell like an idiot that I even came. So you need to help yourself. I have been trying to get help from other sources for 30 years now and and I do not have the strength to fight this anymore. I have never given up like this though. I'm too weak to fight this and I don't understand why God (if there is one) has let me live this long. This is not a good life to have, all this pro ana bullsh** is messed up, but I do understand that most of these girls are like me and they want a way out with their "pro Ana" suicide pacts. Thats what they are, Suicide pacts. So at this point my children who are 8 & 9, I love them more than anything but they will be better off with a stable life other than watching mom throw up everything I eat on a daily basis. They think this is normal for me but it shouldn't be.

Look I'm 44 and it is too late for me to try to find a new support system but for some of your readers it might not be.

If you think your support system looks at you like you are the town freak, get the hell out of it find good help before you end up dying.

I'm ending my life today
because it will be the best thing for my kids to have a stable mother and maybe father, They don't need to see any more of me standing over a toilet bowl or their mother cutting herself. I'm doing this for them. In the long run it will be the best thing.

I don't want to be on this earth anymore, I feel like I'm just taking up to much space. I'm not scared of death. I have gotten past that point already.

So right now I'm geting tired from the pills I took so I'm going to log off now but I'm going to say it one more time to anyone who truelly wants recovery. Stay off the "pro ana" sites and get a support system that cares and for christ's sake, never start that first diet.

Peace out,
(name removed) (too tired of fighting) "

(bolding mine)

As I quickly scanned the comment, the two bolded phrases above jumped out at me.

I realized, by the time of the comment, that 45 minutes had passed since the comment had been sent.

I frantically picked up the phone and called Google's headquarters in Seattle to see if they could trace the commenter's IP address as the only IP that shows up in comments is Google's. Google's office didn't open for another hour, so I left an urgent message on their voicemail system, asking that the IP address be traced so that the commenter's location could be ascertained and the appropriate police department notified.

Not knowing if Google would respond to me, I checked out the Followers of my blog and discovered that the person who sent me the comment "followed" my blog. Thankfully, she has her own blog, and when I clicked on her Profile, her location in the US came up.

I then phoned the Police Department in her town, who passed me on to the County Sheriff's Office. I spoke with the dispatcher there, told her about the comment, gave her as much information as I could, begged that officers be sent right away to the commenter's home, and asked that someone at their office call me if they were able to reach her in time. My fear was that her two little girls would find their mom dead when they got home from school.

And then I waited...and waited...and waited. Nothing. Nothing from the Sheriff's Office. Nothing from Google. Nothing.

I slept little last night. When I got up this morning, I phoned the Sheriff's Office. Explained again what happened yesterday to the person who answered the phone. After checking their records, she confirmed that officers had been dispatched to the commenter's home yesterday and that the commenter was okay...but she denied that she had sent that comment.

Her response to the officers I understand. Embarrassment, guilt, whatever.

The past 24 hours has been difficult for me. Frantic, anxious...in a turmoil. Is she alive? Did her 2 little girls find her dead?

Yesterday was an epiphany for me. I've come to the realization that, like Don Quixote, I'm tilting at windmills here with this blog.

Eating disorders will continue to thrive and kill, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. The only person who can do anything about it is you, the sufferer.

So with that, I say adieu to you all. It's been a ride.

~ Medusa


Follow on Buzz

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can totally unterstand you, but I think you helped for a lot of us.
Thank you,

Exahmia said...

Dear God! I have all the right to do this.
People are sick and start to see this blog in a wrong away and this is so not faur for you.

I just want to say something this 44 year old women is every right when she says "do not start that first diet" so true.

But come on people stipo blamming God for your problems. We are the problem or the solution.

Anonymous said...

Please please please do not do this. You have no idea how much of a support system you have been for me and I'm sure many other people. Your website is amazing and the only one like it. Don't say you haven't done anything because you saved that womans life and that is amazing. Please don't go. I know there will be many other people as upset as I if you do. If you do decide to stop then thank you. Thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you.

Lou Lou said...

wishing you health and serenity, and love. x
kia kaha'
arohamai
loulou

Crystal said...

wow. I understand but feel so sad. Your blog is such a helpful SAFE place for many. I just found you and have to say goodbye already!? I hope perhaps some time will pass and you will change your mind. You can tell that so many of us with screwed up habits and image need a safe haven where we are not alone. Where its OK to recover.

Again, I understand but for some reason your swift and sudden departure makes my heart ache. Yes ED will run rampent, no you alone can't change it but your blog does good for some. for many. I feel angry, like this one person had such an impact that we've lost you because of her actions and feelings. Yes rationally I am sure there is more to it then that but anger is there none the less....

What can I say. Thank you Medusa, for your blog. Your time. Your heart so full of caring for us. Thanks for posting my story. Thanks for listening. Just THANKS.

Crystal

Jane Doe said...

My Dear Medusa
I guess at some point we all seem to have the need to leave. I just thought you might want to know that for someone like me, your blog was a blessing. It made me feel that I'm not alone in this, and there is always someone I can turn to and talk to about EDs...
So thank you for showing me there are humans around the world that really do care
XXX

K8 said...

Some people CAN be helped. Some people just need that one little push, that one little bit of truth, that one little wake up call. Some people are teetering between 2 worlds- the maybe they are in the normal world tilting toward ED. Some are in the ED world teetering toward recovery. Those are the people for whom seeing that one image or story could change their whole lives.

I found your site googling "pro-ana". I wonder what would have happened if I had not found it. I wonder how many other girls have had that experience.

Some people CANNOT be helped. It is too late, or too deep, or they don't know they need help. I know this better than anyone due to the circumstances of my family. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try there is nothing you can do. But this is not everyone. Nor is it any one person's responsibility to save everyone.

I completely understand the need to do what is best for your own health and peace of mind. You should not continue the blog if it is detrimental to your own well-being. I know how soul-crushing it can be to focus on something tragic and that sometimes, you have to just get away from it. So if that is your reason for ending the blog, I wish you nothing but the best of life, luck and health!

But don't think for a second that you didn't/don't help anybody. I know for a fact that you have helped me. And I'm sure you have made that tiny spark in others that sent them on the road to want help, and stopped others from going down the ED road in the first place. You HAVE made a difference.

I for one will miss you if you stop, but I do understand, so I just say, thank you.

-Kate

Someone said...

Medusa,

This site was new for me about a month ago. I'd never been to any sites dealing with eating disorders. However, I've just come to accept and finally got help for my disordered eating/thinking after 27 years. The information, the insight, the bravery of your unabashed expressions; hit me and has resonated to that, that I found "support".

I've lived a physical existence for 33 years now and don't know what my journey will look like in the many moons to come. What I do know is that you have impacted me in a positive way. And I never want to not say something to another when they have brought light to my life.

I understand why you must go - I would most likely would want to do the same.

What I want to offer is this though. Thank you for being supportive even if you didn't know you were. Thank you for being HERE for me when there really hasn't ever been anyone else, even if I did ask. Thank you for sharing your good medicine with someone who otherwise would be no one.

What you have offered me, without doubt you have offered to many others. Touched in their own ways, carrying on the seeds planted, nourishing themselves to a better place of balance. That I won't say "goodbye" to. This I will draw upon giving gratitude abound to you.

So with gratitude (and sadness); be well.

Thank you.....

Sophie said...

No Medusa, please please please keep up the fantastic work you're doing. Don't stop, please don't stop. This morning I had decided that I wasn't worth eating anything at all. Then I failed and binged and purged and felt even more worse. But then I logged on to your blog and read a whole lot of old posts and thought, no. I don't want to end up like these girls. I WANT to get well. And to want something is a really good thing. And you helped me feel that I want to get well. You might have saved my life. I really hope you change your mind about stop blogging, but if you don't I really want to say thank you. Thank you so much. We need more people like you. Please don't stop blogging. Love Sophie

Anonymous said...

Medusa it is YOU who made recovery worth a try for me!
You who showed me for the first time that eating disorders ARE deadly and ugly and dangerous.
You who I kept following for a long time now, always eager to learn new stories, new lives. I found friends here.
Yes, I can understand your motives here, but PLEASE think about it again. You give so much hope to me and others, you are a reminder of the fact that it's worth fighting.
Where are we all going to share our stories? What place is there, really?
You are not in any way responsible for anyone here, I definitely don't wanna say that, but you are a huge help and you ARE a great support system, actually the best I (and I'm sure many others) have ever had.
Please, don't let this bring you down. Whatever happened, it was her choice, not your fault.
You do so much for us, way more than anyone I've known has ever cared to try to do.
Please, stay with us.
Kate (Yes, the second one who shared her story here.)

Laura M. Brinson said...

I can understand if you want to leave the blog if, like others have said, it is being detrimental to your health, but it's obvious that you're helping people, and if you're leaving only because you feel that you're not, please please please please PLEASE don't go. When I read the title of this blog entry it broke my heart and made me want to cry, as I've been reading your blog for quite some time now.
I don't have anorexia or bulimia nervosa, or have an eating disorder not otherwise specified (I've always been overweight, and would be more likely to compulsively overeat and weigh a thousand pounds than starve myself), but after stumbling across your blog when trying to find out what "thinspo" means, it really changed my perspective of those with such disorders. I've always despised cheerleaders and other preppy girls in high school, and would call them anorexic behind their backs because of how skinny they were. I really had no knowledge of these diseases, but after learning about it in 9th grade health class and reading your blog, I realized just how serious they are.
Thank you for opening my eyes and helping me see that it's not just perky, popular, skinny blondes who suffer from eating disorders, and again, -PLEASE- don't leave. If you do however, at least leave your blog up, so others can see your past entries, and even if you don't update anymore, you can still help viewers.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is THE reason I finally sought treatment for my ED last year. I am not completely healed yet, but I am slowly getting there. If it were not for you I would not be alive today. So, leave if you must, but understand that you have made a difference in my life, and likely the lives of many other girls. You can change the lives of those that suffer from this terrible disease, I'm living proof of that.

Kristy said...

There is nothing any of us can say to change your mind about this. I wish we all could have heard your story, in the same way you allowed so many of us to have our stories heard.
Ive said it before, I believe that this should never end, and should be expanded, however we all change over time and this is where it must go.
After my story was posted, I read and re-read how sad and lonely that girl was, and am finally getting the help I really needed. Embracing the health, finally embracing life.
Your blog has been more theraputic to me than all the expensive therapy sessions the past years of my life. There is a calm in knowing that there is someone, somewhere, that gives a damn about the girls who starve themselves to death for an unattainable beauty. You did not have to care, and yet you did. We may never know what led you to where you are now, who you are, and why you cared about people that so many gave up on a long time ago.
Please never stop trying to change the world, we need more people like you.
I wish you much love and all the best in life.

Holly said...

Medusa,

I am so sorry but I completely understand. I would do the same, truly.

Please know that so many of your posts have inspired me in recovery, the honesty and up-front nature of the horrors of EDs which you highlight have really helped me push forward and keep going.

I wish you luck, happiness and lots of love,

Holly xx

i love bows:) said...

Thankyou for all of your time, support and understanding-your honesty and integrity shines in your blog.
i can completely understand why you have had enough, and relly-you are so right, noone can get better intil they accept responsibility for their problems.
thankyou
take care of yourself and i wish you well
Vic x

Anonymous said...

Perhaps when you go you can leave a list at the top for recovery-sites? You're the most encouraging place I know of!

Anonymous said...

Hey Medusa,

you did what you could do. You called google support and informed the police, and you spent a lot of time fighting against eating disorders and their acceptance in society.

It must have been terrible to you to read this letter. And I really understand that you felt helpless: such as I felt helpless watching friends struggeling with eating disorders, and there was nothing I could do.

There is not much we can do. But you were not fighting against windmills. You were fighting against the Rachel Zoe- and Vicoria Beckam-like media icons, against a society that is keeping up unhealthy ideals about women and their shapes, influencing generations of girls.

You did, what you could do: and if you just helped one girl to take the decision to recover? What if you just made one girls day a little better?

Anyone of us can change the whole world. Sometimes it is enough to do what we can.

MrsMenopausal said...

{{{{{{my dear friend}}}}}}} I don't want to see you go. I also don't want to talk you out of anything that you need to do for yourself. Selfishly,I want you to stay, to continue with what you have done so well for so long.

I have to tell you that you're wrong though about not being able to do anything about EDs. You're a strong, effective, much needed and appreciated voice in ED advocacy. You've boldly exposed the myths, realities,and dangers of eating disorders. You've educated, and given hope and inspiration for recovery. You've been both supportive and up front honest where needed.

You've touched the lives of many. You may never know the affect you have had on every person who has had the good fortune of finding you here, but I can promise you that you *have made a difference. You will be greatly missed.

I ask that you consider taking a break and step away for a bit before making your decision concrete.

I'm going to miss you. I hope in time that you change your mind.

I'm here if you need me. :*
Mare

jana271 said...

It pains me to see you go, but if you feel you must, then no one can stop you. You've already been such a great blessing, and I know that you will continue to touch the lives of those around you. Despite how little I comment here, your site has helped me many times and I'm sure that it's helped many others as well. It really is one of those rare safe places you can go to where recovery is strongly encouraged.
I wish you the best of luck with everything, Medusa. *lots of love and hugs*

Anonymous said...

I am commenting again, because this letter also was shocking for me...

Of course I dont know how the commentor felt when she wrote this letter. But now I am trying to see things from an other side... She wrote, that her therapist didn't show up for the 3 time a month -which is highly unprofessional - it seems to me the commentor felt left alone, that anybody cares about her.

Medusa, maybe you just did the right thing. Maybe it really meant something to her to see that you cared about her, and that the policemen that came to her house cared about her.

PS: to the commentor,
if you should read this:
it made me sad to read that your therapist never showed up for 3 times a month. Its a clear sign that your therapist is not working professionally! A therapist must never ever behave like that. You have every right to get a good treatment and to be respected, and so it probably was better to look out for an other therapist. But there are also anonymus groups for people with eating disorders, so maybe you cand find a "support system" in your town. I wish you the best and hope that you will find the power to make another try.

Zarkadi said...

Dear Medusa,
I think that we all understand this decision, one cannot bring salvation to all, but you tried, and you did it better than many people out there.

I wish you happiness, and I hope that you will be able to not burden yourself too much.

I have never suffered from an ED, but this still is the best blog I've ever read. Thank you for all this, someone really needed to do it.
My best wishes,
the girl who wrote a psychology essay.

Faux said...

I understand how taxing running a a blog on such an emotionally charges subject must be- You have made and are making an incredible difference in the lives of many; however, it's also not right for others to expect you to subject yourself to the constant upset and sorrow you must deal with daily watching so many lives fall apart first hand. My suggestion is for all of you to read this to start your own blogs on dispelling the darkness surrounding the suffering of those with eating disorders and the subjugation all of us in this society feel regarding the unrealistic expectations placed on our physical appearances. The problem is not just the few suffering from ED- but the sickness of our entire culture that drives many to such extremes. Perhaps, with more voices, one day women will be judged more by the content of their minds and hearts rather than the size of their breasts and the numbers on their jeans.

jadedchalice said...

Im so sorry that someone put you through that. Im totally devastated that one of the few beautiful supportive people i have met online was treated with so little regard, that someone actually pulled that kind of prank on you. If it was a cry out for help to see if anyone cares, i understand but its still not ok to cry wolf and claim suicide. Especially considering how caring and compassionate you are. I dont depend on you, and i know recovery is up to me, but i cannot deny knowing someone out there cared, really made a difference, and im so sorry that you wont be on here, considering you were the only reason i started my blog. Ill miss your posts, ill miss your spirit.

Anonymous said...

I have never left a comment before and have been following your blog for several months.
I just wanted to say thank you. You have opened my eyes about my eating disorder and in a way made me want to recovery.
I understand that you feel the need to stop. But you have touched many of us. Showing how eating disorders are not glamorous but how deadly and awful they truly are.
Again I just wanted to say thank you.

mischa.soleil said...

That woman wasn´t fair. Maybe everybody she could reach has to feel guilty now. Arrrggh, destruction nearly everywhere was not enough ... I can´t stand it.
I think your followers will miss you and your blog. How about coming back in a few months? Just to say hello or something like that. I am not good in saying goodbye. My Superenglish, you know ... *hugs*

Anonymous said...

One person CAN make a difference. And You do...

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what you must have gone through during those uncertain hours trying to reach the commenter. Few people could be so compassionate as to care so much about the fate a complete stranger, you are truly an incredible person.
Your site is amazing, it's honest and real and that is such a rare thing. You touch so many people and it deeply saddens me that you've come to the decision to sign off. I totally understand that you can't put yourself through the events of the past few days again and you clearly feel a personal responsibility towards everyone who mails you.
You will be missed by so many people, I wish you were able to see that, although you absolutely cannot hold yourself responsible for saving everyone who sends you mail in times of distress, the work you do has such a positive impact on so many people, you're doing more to help than most people can ever hope to achieve.
I do hope you reconsider and continue with the site, but if not, then thank you for all of the work you've done.
xx

Anonymous said...

I have been following all of this the whole weekend - same person as the 3rd comment. When I made that comment I was nearly in tears. Like some others I have been following this blog for months but have never before commented. When I saw your updated post I was soooo happy! Thank you! You are a haven for all and I am so happy u have decided to continue!

Medusa said...

(((Anonymous))) Thank you so much!

mischa.soleil said...

You made my day. ^^ *doublehug*

Medusa said...

And a double hug right back atcha, Mischa!

Medusa said...

Mischa...re your latest comment. You're fast too :^)

Anonymous said...

Oh holy motherfuckin Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Medusa.
Thanks for staying with us.
I'm fricken crying.
Kate (again, yes.)

Medusa said...

(((Kate))) <3

mischa.soleil said...

Ok, you´ve won. This comment box is not my "trash pin". ^^ Great that you´ve decided to -please insert correct English here- ... It´s a fact: There are people from all over the world who love you. Thank you.

Medusa said...

Thank you, Mischa, for your support and love.

Hugs,
Medusa

Someone said...

Thank you Medusa for continuing on. You are such a beacon of light for so many.

May you continue to feel the warmth of light and love throughout.

CHEERS TO YOU!

MrsMenopausal said...

I'm so glad you're going to stay! WOOT! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank God, because I was unable to find words that I thought adequate...I don't know what I'd do without the ability to lurk around here daily.-JAc

Medusa said...

(((Someone))), (((MrsM))) and (((Anonymous)))

Thank you SO much. You do my heart good.

Love,
Medusa

Medusa said...

A huge thank you to all who posted comments here over the weekend and today.

I can't tell you how touched I was by your words. In fact, I cried every time a new comment came in. It was so overwhelming. Your kindness in taking the time to comment means so much to me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

~ Medusa

Laura said...

A giant THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! You are truly amazing and I was so very excited to see today's post!

But...at the same time, no pressure. Do what you can, when you can, and don't forget to take care of yourself!

jadedchalice said...

Medusa...*i hold back tears as I say this*

Thank you for taking a chance on all of us....i like many of the other girls never took my chances at recovery seriously until i found your blog. Your courage gave me courage. Maybe you cant help everyone, but look at how many people you have helped already....you bring us truth and reality, love and support, and we all appreciate you SO much more, than most of us can put into words. You inspired me, you gave me a reason to try, you gave me a reason to open up, and if you gave up on us, it would seem like everyone else who gave up on me...and im soo sooo glad that you have chosen to stay....you mean so much to so many...thank you thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing. You were a huge influence in my (ongoing) recovery. I hope to be healed one day and you will have played a part in getting me there.

Dawn said...

Thank You so much for coming back, Medusa. Thank You :)x

Soph. said...

THANK YOU FOR STAYIN' MEDUSA. I REALLY NEED YOU RIGHT NOW.

Anonymous said...

Your website is one of the places I keep coming back to. I work with ED in Europe, and that´s why I´m so interested in the subject.

So I came back again and felt cold when I read your message about closing the blog. Thank goodness you already wrote that your going to keep it up, because for a moment there I felt VERY sad.

The work you do for the ones that need help the most, is amazing. You inspire me as well in the work I do and I keep showing my friends at work what a wonderful blog you have. You are truly special and
it´s precious how you show all these ED sufferers that they are special too!

Lots of love Medusa <3

- Izzie -

Medusa said...

Laura, jadedchalice, Anonymous, Dawn, Soph., Anonymous (and to everyone else who's posted here who I may have missed)...

I'm still so overwhelmed. Your comments continue to bring me to tears.

I had no idea my saying goodbye would generate such an outpouring of support and love. Thank you all SO much.

Love,
Medusa

Crystal (again) said...

Thanks Medusa. I am thrilled to see you are staying.

Medusa said...

(((Crystal))) Thank you, hon! <3

Medusa said...

Izzie, thank you for your sweet words.

Wishing you much success in your ED work in Europe...

Love,
Medusa

Anonymous said...

As much as the sufferer is the only person that can truly change or do anything about it, they still need help doing it. YOU are that help. This site constantly reminds me why its better to get better! I finally asked for help the other day because of this site.
Thankyou!
xxx

Medusa said...

(((Anonymous)))

Thanks so much for your very kind words.

Wishing you every success in your recovery....

Hugs,
Medusa

Purppurainen said...

You can't believe how relieved I was noticing your latest post! I was so sad after reading your previous post saying goodbye.

It's makes me so very happy to see you continuing your wonderful work! Thank you!

Medusa said...

Purppurainen, thanks so much for your lovely comment.

I'm very happy I made the decision to continue with my blog. I realized I'd miss you all too much if I quit :^)

Hugs,
Medusa

ivylynn said...

Truly happy you are sticking around. You're doing a great thing here. We love what you're doing Medusa. <3

Medusa said...

(((ivylynn)))

Thanks so much.

~ Medusa

Laura M. Brinson said...

You're welcome Medusa :) I didn't think to say this before, or to elaborate upon JUST HOW MUCH I didn't want you to go, but basically you've really helped in enlightening me about the many problems that women face, and contributed to my strong, very unconventional opinions about them. I always look forward to any articles you write of said problems, or really, anything at all :D I've spent a lot of time reading your blog.

When everyone was getting excited, I gasped, latched onto it, and was getting ecstatic too, but I was still like,"How the hell do they know she's going to stay?," because all I kept doing was refreshing the comment page to keep abreast of everything being said. I TRULY felt it was a lost cause trying to convince you to stay, as you seemed so adamant, and it made me SO happy to see that we still have you.

I also wanted to say that, though I can't pick out or even remember the part now, when I read your post,"To the girl who said she 'wants' to be anorexic...," a part of what the commentator said described EXACTLY how I'm feeling with my own mental illnesses. Something about what the they said, that perfectly illustrated the hell I've been through, made me want to jump with joy; I had to tell my mom about it. I wanted to print it out, take it to my then therapist, shove it in her face and say,"This is what's wrong with me!" I've had multiple professionals diagnosis me with different disorders, so besides severe depression, I have no idea what else other ailments I have. I've always felt I might have some disease that's never been recorded because of how INCREDIBLY hard it is for me to explain my feelings or, hell, my thoughts, and it can make therapy impossible.

Like I said before, I've never had an ED - the only time I've ever had anything close is when I didn't want to eat because I was too busy writing about my depressed feelings, though I ate when I was done - but I have a LONG history of other mental issues, one of them being fluctuating OCD symptoms. I bring that up because it is PRECISELY the same thing as Ana and Mia. It's a beast. A beast that won't relent until you do what it wants you to do, which could be anything from not wanting to clean because you don't want to deal with the exhaustion of having EVERYTHING perfect, to wanting to pull your teeth out with pliers for no reason or blow your brains out whenever you have PTSD-like flashbacks of embarrassing moments. OCD can also give you what is called "intrusive thoughts," which are disturbing thoughts that won't let up and that you can't get out of your head no matter how hard you try.

All of this makes it seem like every mental problem blurs together with all the others, that they can all relate to one another, and possibly even come from the same source. It gives me a sense of closeness to everyone here, and to you, knowing that I can understand some of the pain that anorectics and bulimics feel.

- Laura (Not the second Laura that posted).

reneekytokorpi said...

No, you can't 'win' against EDs in a black or white fashion. If you measure what you've done here that way, you'll never 'win' and the image is as distorted as our self image. It's not about 'winning'.

It's about the girl/guy who looks here and finally SEES and asks for help. You may not have 'won' but what you've done for this girl/guy is their entire world. What you have done for them, how you have helped them is huge.

'Winning' against EDs is like 'winning' against domestic abuse or child neglect. It won't happen; it isn't possible. That's too black and white. It's measuring your success on a scale. But, you can hold out the knowledge for people to see what is happening to them or another, what could happen if they are thinking about ED behavior. Help them escape. For every person that you help, you have a 'win', a personal victory.

To me, black and white thinking is akin the perfectionism that drives EDs in some cases. Look instead at a gaunt frame slowly filling, in health restored, in peace found. Each and every one of those instances is victory. Every person you can touch is a victory. When they reach out and touch another to help, their victory is also yours.

Don't measure yourself against an unattainable goal, a hypothetical perfect reality. Isn't that what you're telling us here our body image? Now, I'm telling you the same thing about 'winning'.

Look instead at a life regained.

I came here accidentally, out of a concern for my grandmother. I am afraid of her eating habits, the fine down on her arms, her frailty and obsession with her figure. I started to notice her fascination with watching us eat but never wanting more than a half taste. Her evasions and odd comments have finally added up in my head and I needed more than a suspicion and a guess; I needed confirmation that something isn't right. Thanks to you, I have a clearer vision of what I'm seeing, no matter how dark.

You opened my eyes to something I've always dismissed because it has never touched me. I am bipolar and my focus on my disorder has never widened to allow thought to my appearance. I couldn't let it widen. Staying alive and sane was too desperately difficult; worrying about meds affecting my weight would have killed me. I didn't know what I am seeing in my grandmother, because I simply don't have a frame of reference. Now I have a bit of understanding so I can decide what to do next.

Thank you.